29th October 2012 at 14:25

2012.10.05 / 2012.10.06 - Trash Fest V @ Helsinki9/10


City, сountry: Helsinki, Finland
Location: Gloria
Date: 2012.10.05 / 2012.10.06
Web: TrashFest

Author: Stefanie Singh (FacebookTwitter, BlogSpot)

Rating: 9/10

In Finland, there are two events which lure every year a certain fan base of rock fans from all over the world into its capital Helsinki: "Helldone", the annual festival on New Year's Eve with the constant headliner HIM, and the comparatively young "Trash Fest", initiated by the American Mama Trash. Usually taking place in the springtime, it looked like the chapter "Trash Fest" was more or less closed in the year 2012. Amongst others, the festival had to deal with a lot of band cancellations over the past years. It could have put the whammy on the event - but it didn't and so Mama Trash returns in 2012! A little bit later than usual, in autumn, without any significant cancellations - and with the big Deathstars in the line-up! Respect, respect! Also the aforementioned "Helldone" is going to be back this year after its last happening in 2009, with exorbitant ticket prices and a line-up which is partly still unconfirmed. 1:0 for Mama Trash who has the last laugh with the fifth anniversary celebration of "Trash Fest"...

Friday, 5th October 2012

The first day of the 2-day festival is going to be opened by one of the hottest newcomer acts at the moment: Toxic Rose from Sweden's capital Stockholm! Consisting of (ex) members of other well-known bands such as Gemini Five (Tom Wouda), SexyDeath (Goran Imperator) and Lipstixx'n'Bulletz (Andy TXR and Michael Sweet), Toxic Rose already have gained a huge fan-base with their Dark Sleaze Metal - and all that although their very first gig took place just a week ago! Tonight's performance is just their second one. Isn't it better and also more credible to make your mark by playing some live-shows first before playing to the gallery and creating a hype via facebook, twitter, street teams all over the world, merchandising...? These and other questions were asked by Neon Lights in an exclusive interview with the guys. The answers can be read here soon.

From the audience's point of view, the live qualities of Toxic Rose fully live up to the fixed image. With "I Drown In Red", the set starts with a song which is already known from the web, therefore the audience is able to sing along the lyrics enthusiastically. The same applies to the later on performed "Don't Hide In the Dark". But also compositions which are not known yet - such as "Set Me Free" and "Black Bile" from their upcoming self-titled debut EP - are completely convincing. Also the stage show itself is from the intro to the outro absolutely flawless, and some lady has lost her heart to Michael Sweet even before he had taken a seat behind his drums. At least you could guess so, according to the screaming. Toxic Rose: A band we certainly will hear much more from in the future!

A band you already heard of a lot - at least within the "Trash Fest" circles - is the following Night By Night. Well, it seems like the whole hype around Night By Night is solely based on the fact that The Sisters Of Mercy guitarist Ben Christo is involved in it. The songs like the opener "Holding On" and the current debut single "Time To Escape" sound like you already have heard it a thousand times before, the stage show doesn't have any special features either and especially after the grandiose opening by Toxic Rose, the Melodic Hard Rock of the British guys is simply boring. This more than unspectacular performance let us wait impatiently for the return of host Acey Slade (ex Murderdolls / ex Trashlight Vision / Acey Slade & the Dark Party). But before that happens, Deathstars bassist Skinny Disco starts to entertain the crowd as the DJ of the first festival day...

Another guy who knows well how to entertain is Chri$ Wicked, the very likeable frontman of Malice In Wonderland. Why I never have heard anything from the Norwegians from Bergen before, except for the bandname, remains especially in light of the newer songs like "Live For Today" from the upcoming album "The Royal Brigade" a mystery. Another positive surprise in case of Malice In Wonderland is the fact that their focus is actually more on the music than on some "cool" Rock'n'Roll behaviour. And when they return to Finland in March 2013, as Chri$ announced, it might well be that we will be around, too...

The honour of being tonight's headliner is given to the Italians of Dope Stars Inc.. And, indeed, the half-full "Gloria" is now filling up to 75%. A girl from the audience jumps on stage right away, in order to dance along on its side during the entire show, and also in the audience, there are a lot of people dancing. Now, the atmosphere is quite similar to a rave party, thanks to the Synth / Industrial Rock of the guys from Rome. And, without any doubt, the songs like "Bang Your Head", "Get Young" and "Theta Titanium" are great - but in the middle of the set, it suddenly becomes exhausting. First of all, it seems that guitar player Fabrice La Nuit has taken the bandname "Dope Stars Incorporated" literally tonight, and secondly, it's a show where one track follows after another without a single introduction or any other kind of variation in between. And before you can say knife, you get the feeling that this concert takes place since three hours already. It's a pity because apart from the mentioned points, it has been a really good choice to pick Dope Stars Inc. as the headliner of the first festival day...

Saturday, 6th October 2012

Deathstars, Dope Stars, New Generation Superstars... Yes, the most demanded bands at "Trash Fest V" are all those who have the word "star" in the name. And I must say that in case of the latter I cannot understand it at all. Announced by Acey Slade as "Nottingham's best trashy, sleazy, dirtiest, nastiest Rock'n'Roll band", only the track "Come Over" has some sleazy attitude. All other performed songs by the English guys like the opener "Rock'n'Roll Or Die", "Guess What" and "Hellcity" belong to the category "rock which you already have heard a thousand times before". And to fulfil a cliché by destroying a guitar at the end of the show can't make up for the lack of creativity either...

More creativity is going to be provided by Lord Of The Lost, already during the intro: First, the guys from Germany are marching on stage to the strains of Original Naabtal Duo's "Gute Kameraden" [in English: "Good Comrades"], and then they start their set with a cover version of Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"... Respect! You really need to have the guts to do something like this, especially when your band mainly appeals to young girls, too. Well, the guys from the Hanseatic City Hamburg are aware of that fact; not for nothing they describe their own sound as "Pussy wetting Goth Rock". Next to songs like "Undead Or Alive", "Dry The Rain" and "Sex On Legs", the setlist mainly covers compositions from the brandnew album "Die Tomorrow", such as the homonymous title track, "Black Lolita", "Blood For Blood", "Heart For Sale" and "Credo". For "Words Of Sadness", a cover version of the Danish Alternative Rock band Salida, we unfortunately have to wait in vain, therefore there is another reinterpretation with Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"...

As the only band in the history of "Trash Fest", Private Line have participated in all issues including the ones in the US. At "Trash Fest V", the guys from Helsinki are the only band representing Finland. On the one hand, this fact might be confusing since we are here at a festival in Finland. On the other hand, it's always emphasised that this is an "international event". And not least thanks to this internationality, "Trash Fest" is an enrichment especially for all those who are living in Finland. According to this, Private Line might be a bigger asset to the tourists in the audience because if you are living in Finland and especially in Helsinki, you see the band around frontman Sammy Aaltonen more often than you want to, despite good songs like "Prozac Nation", "Broken Promised Land" and "Dead Decade".

And then, it's finally time for THE headliner of "Trash Fest V": Deathstars! Suddenly, the so far half-full "Gloria" is bursting at the seams. It even seems that "Gloria" is completely sold out now. After the DJ of the second festival day, Miikki Kunt from V for Violence, has warmed up the audience for the upcoming gig with tunes by Slipknot and Marilyn Manson, Acey Slade appears on stage with Mama Trash herself. She tells about the year 2007 when Skinny Disco promised her to play one day with Deathstars at "Trash Fest" - and "today is the day and I'm very proud and happy". Then, the lights go out and "The Mark Of The Gun" starts, just to stop after 10 seconds. The audience bursts out laughing. The tension rises and rises. Then, Nightmare Industries (Lead Guitar & Keyboards), Cat Casino (Guitar), Skinny (Bass) and Vice (Drums) appear on stage, "The Mark Of The Gun" starts again and amid loud applause, frontman Whiplasher Bernadotte is entering the stage, too. A very big moment, especially if this is more or less your first Deathstars show and "The Mark Of The Gun" your absolute favourite song from the Swedes. The audience is putty in Whiplasher's hands right away and so everyone follows his instructions for cheering, clapping and especially how both have to be done. The catwalk - which has been added to the stage just today - was probably added for Whiplasher only since the rest of the band keeps sweeping across the actual stage. From "Synthetic Generation" ("Semi-Automatic", "The Revolution Exodus") to "Termination Bliss" ("Tongues", "Blitzkrieg", "Motherzone", "Cyanide", "Trinity Fields") and "Night Electric Night" ("Chertograd", "Night Electric Night", "Death Dies Hard", "Blood Stains Blondes") to "The Greatest Hits On Earth" ("METAL"), the setlist contains the Industrial Metal from all albums the guys from Stockholm have released so far. "This one will be epic!", they promised beforehand - and they have kept their word... We are absolutely blown away! No wonder that Rammstein requested them as a support act for their "Made In Germany 1995-2011" tour. Who wants to know more about this tour and other things: Neon Lights' exclusive interview with Deathstars is going to be published here very soon... Stay tuned!

Speaking of "Stay tuned!": No sooner Deathstars are done with their show, "Gloria" empties out quickly. Only 25% of the audience is staying for the Mama Trash 2012 All Star Jam.

Well, as in 2011, Lord Of The Lost frontman Chris Harms is dressed up as a woman, more precisely as his imaginary sister Crystal Meth-Harms, and with bloodstained inner thighs and a banana in his hand, he is telling something about "lost virginity". Well... After that, he sings the AC/DC track "Whole Lotta Rosie", together with Acey Slade. Further cover versions are amongst others Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart" (sung by Private Line's Sammy Aaltonen), Velvet Revolver's "Slither" (also sung by Sammy Aaltonen with special guest Anzi Destruction) and Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" (sung by Anzi Destruction, Acey Slade and Chris Harms). Now one might wonder if there is anything really interesting happening during the "Mama Trash 2012 All Star Jam", especially after seeing the brilliant show of Deathstars. Well, the reinterpretations of The Cult's "Lil' Devil" (sung by Malice In Wonderland frontman Chri$ Wicked) and Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" (sung by very special guest Johnny Lee Michaels) make a lasting impression, indeed...

Conclusion: A grandiose opener (Toxic Rose), a brilliant headliner (Deathstars) and the one or other positive discovery in between (especially Malice In Wonderland), but also some acts who were anything but remarkable. Especially on Saturday, you were mainly busy with waiting for the headliner Deathstars while the selection of the bands on Friday was just better overall. Nevertheless, Mama Trash celebrated a triumph with her achievement. She just let people talk and astonished them all this weekend. And speaking of "astonishment": Even if you are - like my humble self - for the very first time at a "Trash Fest" event, you are really going to meet friends and acquaintances from all over the world again during this happening. It's - as Mama Trash always likes to say - an "annual Rock'n'Roll family reunion". A family celebration you would like to attend again in the future...

Photos by Adrian Nysand

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